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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 116-117

Containment of noncommunicable diseases to accomplish universal health coverage


1 Department of Community Medicine, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Medical Research Unit, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication27-Nov-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjmsr.mjmsr_22_18

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Containment of noncommunicable diseases to accomplish universal health coverage. Muller J Med Sci Res 2018;9:116-7

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Containment of noncommunicable diseases to accomplish universal health coverage. Muller J Med Sci Res [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Dec 11];9:116-7. Available from: http://www.mjmsr.net/text.asp?2018/9/2/116/246165



Dear Editor,

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are chronic diseases and result due to the combination of a wide range of genetic, physiological, environmental, and behavioral factors.[1] The global estimates suggest that billions of people across the globe are affected by NCDs, and it is quite alarming that they account for the deaths of more than 70% of the deaths reported worldwide each year.[1] If we go further in depth, it has been observed that close to 15 million people lose their lives prematurely and almost 85% of such mortality is reported in low- and middle-income nations.[1]

Acknowledging the magnitude of the problem and the urgent need to deal with NCDs, the nations agreed to bring about a 33% reduction in premature NCD deaths by 2030 through strengthening of preventive, promotive, and curative services.[2] Even though multiple cost-effective interventions are available, the progress to combat NCDs has been slow and not uniform.[2],[3],[4] The careful analysis of the situation has revealed a lack of political will, poor financial support, lack of infrastructure, and the effect of market dynamics.[2] In order to contain the problem after taking into account all these issues, a set of six recommendations has been proposed, which will help in expediting our efforts toward the control of NCDs.[2]

The first and the foremost thing is to ensure political leadership and responsibility among all political leaders right from the national level to villages, and this should involve everyone who can contribute in the control of NCDs and not the health sector alone.[2] Second, the policy-makers have to identify and implement a set of priorities among all the NCD issues based on the needs of the public.[2],[3] Third, the health promotion and prevention and control activities for NCDs should be incorporated in the national universal health coverage policies, including strengthening of the primary health services and presence of a well-equipped multidisciplinary health team.[2],[3] In addition, options should be explored to combine NCDs with other chronic diseases to avoid duplication of resources.[1]

Another recommendation has been to create a protective health ambience through stringent laws and linkages with various sectors such as government, private, civil society, and the general population.[2] One useful proposal is to encourage both incentives (like promotion of consumption of healthy products) and disincentives (viz., measures to reduce marketing, availability, and consumption of unhealthy products).[1],[2] Further, it has been recommended that national government should increase the proportion of the budget allotted for the containment of NCDs or increase the excise duty on tobacco and alcohol.[1],[2] On the similar lines, the international community should explore different options to augment financing for NCD-related activities such as establishing a multi-donor fund or organize a forum for investors to support action against NCDs.[2],[3],[4] The final recommendation is that the governments should ensure accountability toward their citizens for corrective action on NCDs.[2]

To conclude, NCDs are a major public health threat affecting the quality of life of millions of people, and there is an immense need to arrest the deteriorating situation through implementation of the above measures on a war foot basis.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Noncommunicable Diseases – Key Facts; 2018. Available from: http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/noncommunicable-diseases. [Last accessed on 2018 Jul 08].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. Time to Deliver: Report of the World Health Organization Independent High-Level Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases. Geneva: World Health Organization Press; 2018. p. 1-24.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Implementing the World Health Organization's package of essential noncommunicable disease interventions in primary care settings. J Sci Soc 2017;44:165-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
  [Full text]  
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. World Health Organization recommends cost-effective interventions to control the rise in incidence of noncommunicable diseases in low-resource settings. Int J Prev Med 2016;7:54.  Back to cited text no. 4
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